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Adam Tracksler reviews Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy

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Adam Tracksler reviews Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy



A Creative COW "Real World" Book Review



Adam Tracksler reviews Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy
Adam Tracksler
Adam Tracksler
Kittery Point, Maine, USA
©2002 Adam Tracksler and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
Adam Tracksler takes a look at Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy by Bert Monroy. This book is published by New Riders Publishing. If you don't know anything about Photoshop, this book is not for you, but if you want to be a professional Photoshop user, then read why Adam says, "You'll want to add this book to your library."

Probably everybody reading this uses Photoshop in one way or another. Fixing scans, creating layouts, making composites…it’s all in a days work. There are Photoshop users. There are Photoshop Experts. All should bow down to the very few Photoshop Masters. These are people using every bit and byte packed into the program. Bert Monroy is among those people.

To start out, if you don’t know anything about Photoshop, this is not the book for you.

I first saw some of Bert’s work in a magazine a few years ago. I was blown away by the detail and the quality of the image at first. I thought it was a photo. It was not. It was totally done in Photoshop. My mind reeled with the possibilities.

Bert begins the book by discussing the new features and benefits of Photoshop 6, especially it’s integration with Illustrator. I was very impressed with the way he discusses these features and it made me glad that I learned how to use the Pen tool. This is one of the most powerful tools that you can use in Photoshop. It just takes a while to get the hang of.

The book continues with a chapter on brush making. Again, Bert uses Version 7’s features to the max. He shows you over the course of nine full color pages how just about every aspect of the Brushes palette works. He then goes on for another 10 pages showing you how to use the brushes palette to save you time and create amazing effects. And that’s just the second chapter! Building on the Brushes knowledge, Bert teaches you how to create trees and foliage in chapter 3.

Chapter 4 tackles lights and shadows. Bert does not hold back any secrets as to how he gets amazing shadows. He shows you how through understanding how the tools work and careful observation you can create shadows that are convincing on a variety of surfaces and how light works to create shadows. This was a pretty amazing chapter, I must say.

Sooner or later you are going to have to create a texture, Chapter 5 is the answer to your texture prayers. Bert Monroy really knows his stuff and in this chapter, you create really good wood textures, including grainy wood, weathered wood and tree bark. Not to mention Stucco, concrete, brick, and metal.

Have you ever wanted to make something look wet? I mean really wet? Chapter 6 has that covered. Fog, Snow, Smoke and Fire too. Bert Monroy really understands the tools and explains how to use Photoshop to create these effects. There is no need for cheesy plug-ins, when you can do it right out of the box.



If you want to be a professional Photoshop user, get this book and read it. There is so much to be learned in this that there isn’t a person who couldn’t learn something from it. The book is beautiful and every page is in full color. This is definitely a worthwhile addition to your library.

I give this book 5 cows.
Chapter 7 covers Reflections. Again, amazing. There are tips for making reflections that I had never dreamed of. Chapter 8, Bending things a Bit, covers displacement and warping. These are some cool features that I never use. I’m sure that after having read this, that they will find their way into my bag of tricks.

Bert ends the book with a gallery of his images. He starts in 1989 with an image he made in PixelPaint. He shows a progression of not only the software’s capability, but also his growth as an artist. This is very inspirational, to say the least.

So, here it goes. If you want to be a professional Photoshop user. Get this and read it. Do everything in the book and then do all of your own things. There is so much to be learned in this that there isn’t a person who couldn’t learn something from it. The book is beautiful and every page is in full color. This is definitely a worthwhile addition to your library. Five Cows.

--Adam Tracksler




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